A Galway man pleaded guilty to assault in Galway District Court on Monday after punching a taxi driver twice in the head due to traffic.
62-year-old Martin O’Sullivan wanted to get from Eyre Square to Francis Street – only two blocks away – at around 6pm on September 21 last year.
The court heard from the injured party that his taxi was stuck in heavy rush hour traffic for a long period of time.
As the fare continued to climb – eventually reaching €9 – O’Sullivan first complained, and then started hitting the driver.
The taxi driver described how he was punched in the left ear while still holding on to the steering wheel, nearly causing an accident.
He managed to keep control of the car and withstand the blows until two passers-by came to his rescue.
The victim said he paid over €100 in emergency medical treatment on the day.
He has driven taxis for about ten years.
District Court Judge Mary Fahy called the attack “outrageous”, saying that as it happened in a moving vehicle it was very dangerous to everyone involved.
“Traffic in Galway is crazy but there’s nothing we can do about it,” she said. “He should have got out and walked.”
Defense solicitor Valerie Corcoran agreed that there was “no excuse” for her client’s behaviour and asked the judge to give O’Sullivan some time to gather money for compensation.
O’Sullivan is a retired carpenter and has five previous convictions, all road traffic related.
The judge gave him until 21 January to come up with €500 compensation for the injured party before sentencing.